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Kirk Cousins Long Term Contract Expectations

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How much should Kirk Cousins expect to be paid by (hopefully) the Washington Redskins on a long term deal?

Washington Redskins Minicamp Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

I appreciate all the entries into the worst “pool” I have ever run (that being the one where we all guess what contract Kirk Cousins will end up signing). At the end of the day, most of us are all within the same range of what we think would get “it” done. Of course, there are always those pesky matters of:

  • what the Redskins will actually offer
  • what Kirk Cousins would actually accept

As Bruce Allen has refrained from including me in any (or all) of his internal planning meetings this time around, I am flying a little blind with regard to what the Redskins are going to do on this matter. You know, uhhhhhh, they’re so predictable otherwise.

Let’s attack this today from this angle: the organization seems to be in prime public relations disaster recovery mode. In an effort to right the ship, this could cause the team to make out-of-character moves...like extending a head coach for the first time ever. Even if this was the underlying motive to extend Jay Gruden, I don’t care. Anything that causes the Redskins to make sane and rational decisions works for me.

As for the notion that the team is not getting serious enough with Kirk right this second—as in, not offering him a “compelling” contract—keep in mind that I have been saying that I think the Redskins would tag him a third time if they fail to get a contract in place. I believe that this front office thinks they have a year and a half to get this right (even if that is beyond unacceptable for any of you out there). I can see where the front office might think that if Kirk isn’t sold on them today, he will be after another season under his belt setting franchise records here. The odds of convincing a quarterback to come back a year after losing two of his best veteran receivers (DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon) might be far longer than those associated with convincing a quarterback to come back after a year of playing with two extremely young and promising receivers (Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson)...plus a potential offensive weapon in the first or second round in this upcoming draft.

If the team is putting itself in the business of trying to create a place where Kirk can win and wants to be, isn’t that a good result for us? If the team goes about this process without committing to significant future salary cap space, I also think this works out well for the team. Keep in mind that throughout this process, the team maintains control of its franchise quarterback. I sure hope Kirk Cousins and his agent aren’t banking on him being an unrestricted free agent next season—assuming that no team would ever commit to $35 million on a one-year deal for a quarterback doesn’t give this front office enough credit for its history.

Kirk is going to be 29 years old this summer, and will be turning 30 next summer. Although he has less tread than some players his age, the average career length for quarterbacks is just under five years. According to statista, that career length more than doubles for players with at least one Pro Bowl appearance, but he is going on his sixth year in the league in 2017 and would be coming out of his seventh year were he to be tagged a third time. This site reports that the NFL states “the average career is about six years (for players who make a club’s opening day roster in their rookie season).” All this means is that Kirk is no spring chicken.

At some point, even though he is cashing unprecedented checks, his best chance to win and lock in the most long-term value might just come from working out an arrangement with the Redskins that allows the team additional salary cap flexibility to help him win. (I should probably say that if I were to cash checks for almost $80 million over three years, I wouldn’t care about a single other thing afterward from a job injury standpoint. So perhaps looking for a lucrative deal at the age of 31 isn’t the problem for Kirk that I would suggest it could be.)

Soooo...let’s put a bottom line on this today—subject to change at any second. Joel Corry gets to be today’s guest picker. Over at CBS, he pegs Kirk’s contract package to be valued at $100 million over four years with $80 million in overall guarantees and $55 million guaranteed at signing.

My questions for you today:

  • will the Redskins offer this?
  • would Kirk Cousins agree to this?